This Killjoys review contains spoilers.
Killjoys Season 3 Episode 10
“Let’s go see a bitch about a war.”
The Hullen-centric Killjoys rollercoaster ride continues, and despite the fact that there’s a wealth of story still to mull over, the wait for next summer already feels interminable. The aptly titled “Wargasm” opens with a reflective scene devoid of dialogue at the Farren camp, as the tension and pace gradually gather steam, culminating in a virtually perfect season finale. Penned by showrunner Michelle Lovretta, season 3’s final installment certainly plays like a show that knows it’s returning to continue its tale without suffering any major character casualties and a sublime twist to explore.
Where to begin? Whenever a show employs the “dueling twins” approach, a number of traps and pitfalls lie in wait ready to snag lazy writers, and after Aneela murders Alvis while posing as Dutch, the signs pointed in that direction. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen. With last week’s mention of tropes, I admittedly became a little nervous watching Aneela continue her ruse, albeit this time with a much more formidable foe named Johnny Jaqobis. But what comes out of this scene more than anything is that sometimes a narrative device becomes a trope because it works. Will she be able to fool Dutch’s best friend? Not so much.
Snappy dialogue and witty banter have been a staple of Killjoys’ scenes, and though we momentarily worry that Johnny might fall prey to Aneela’s posturing, the timing of this scene could not have been better. We may never know how long Aneela planned to carry out her play acting, but it’s a good thing her aim isn’t better. Does she intentionally miss Johnny’s heart? If her intention is to hurt Dutch as much as possible, killing Johnny seems a good start. So if her intent is to only wound him, we have to wonder why she doesn’t finish the job. Is there something deep within her psyche that prevents her from taking this drastic step knowing the impact it will have on Dutch?
Before getting too far into the story analysis, the episode’s structure, while perhaps not its greatest strength, certainly drives the narrative with impeccable timing as it moves among Pree and the Farren camp, the RAC ship, and Kendry and the Hullen. Too often, a show’s editing becomes frantic as a means of conveying tension, but here, even though both sides ramp up their war efforts, director Stefan Pleszczynski (“Boondoggie”) stays with each location long enough for viewers to become emotionally invested.
However, the highlight of the episode’s construction finds the opening scene in the Ferran camp bookending with Dutch and Aneela on the green plasma’s serene beach at the end, bringing us full circle while nevertheless headed in an unexpected direction. And finally, the haunting image of Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” with Dutch in Jesus’ place, poignantly sets the stage for her face off with Annela in an attempt to save the human race. A bit heavy handed? Perhaps, but I like it nonetheless.
In a carryover from last week, it’s clear that the imminent war has led to a lot of soul searching, and the realization that there’s no time like the present to act on long restrained feelings and impulses. Yet as fascinating as this aspect of the narrative is, there’s no denying that “Wargasm” also chooses to focus on the unbridled innate heroism that the men and women on both sides exhibit.
Sure it’s endearing to see Zeph try to connect with Dutch and later tell Johnny that she loves him, but to witness how she operates under the intense stresses the team incurs says a lot about this young woman’s moxy. Does she really love Johnny in that way or is she merely trying to prevent the severely wounded Jaqobis brother from throwing himself back into the fray before he’s physically ready? We’re not sure, but I was so afraid that Zeph would not survive the season, that to now have this subtext to explore next summer makes me very happy.
Where have all the heroes gone? They’re right here fighting off the Hullen, and the fact that Fancy Lee and Turin can put aside their differences in pursuit of a common enemy tells us not only how formidable the foe appears, but also puts on display the power of the brothers-in-arms ideology. It may be true that Fancy is the bigger man in this situation, but his RAC commander’s willingness to die so the others can escape begins to address Turin’s desire to square accounts with all of his men. And there’s no question that it’s totally satisfying when Fancy puts a bullet into the Hullen about to kill Turin.
Leave it to Delle Sayeh Kendry to disrupt a perfectly good war. “Every proper villain is somebody else’s hero,” she tells Dutch early on. So when we later learn that her role in this operation appears to be greater than previously thought, it really should come as no surprise. And speaking of villains, despite Aneela’s megalomaniacal tendencies and Kendry’s self-serving ethics, both pale in comparison to the not-quite-dead-yet Hullen officer Gander. Will someone please cut off this man’s head?
Then again, the problem here is that Kendry is the consummate actor, and while it appears she’s surprised by the revelation that Aneela will die if Dutch dies, there’s no telling what she actually knows. Of course Johnny has no idea if their deaths will be reciprocal, but he banks on Kendry’s allegiance to Aneela. And what of her allegiance? Is there a real relationship there or simply two women posturing for power?
Nevertheless, as important as Kendry is to the story, it’s the inevitable Dutch and Aneela summit that’s had us on edge the entire season, and their meeting does not disappoint. Admittedly, it’s easier in 2017 to film a fight scene in which a single actress squares off against herself, but that fact doesn’t make it any less challenging to execute a meaningful and watchable sequence. Director Pleszczynski nails it when the two meet and presents a compact, believable scene that ends with a beginning. Just as Dutch momentarily gains the upper hand, she plunges Zeph’s needle device into Aneela’s temple.
And then something unexpected happens. Even though both Dutch and Aneela have vowed to kill the other the first good chance they get, the flashbacks we’ve seen with Khlyen and his two girls certainly lead us to consider that an alternative might exist. As we, along with them, learn about shared experiences and memories, the situation facing both becomes much more complex. And though each goes into this final showdown with guns blazing, because of their shared DNA, the expectation that there might be another way remains in play. At the end of the day, both women are victims, and we hold out hope that they might recognize that about one another.
Nonetheless when Aneela utters the words, “You’re what’s been missing in my head,” both women’s protective walls begin to come down just a bit. Even though we know how Dutch was created, this sudden thirst both have for answers leads to a recognition that this encounter might not end as badly as expected. We’ve known that Dutch was born, in part, of Aneela’s loneliness, but that knowledge might not be enough to excuse what she perceives Aneela has done to her.
For all her flaws, this powerful exchange shows that Aneela still has a lot of little girl left in her, and the fact that she sees Dutch as the favored sibling makes this state of affairs that much sadder. Can these two reconcile? It seems they may have a common enemy, but whether they can work together to contain the Lady will have to wait until next season.
Regardless, at least for the time being, Dutch and Aneela pledge to stop killing each other long enough to put up a fight, and we learn a bit more about Dutch’s “birth” in the Green Space. Given where we thought we’d be by this point, we’re unexpectedly treated to a stirring moment as the two enter the green together and find themselves on the familiar beach as Khlyen approaches. It’s this scene of a united family standing together that furnishes the belief that something positive may come out of this experience, and when he hands them identical daggers with which to kill the Lady, things seem to be moving in the right direction. Of course Khlyen’s dead, and we’re back in this metaphysical scenario that stretches the bounds of comprehension, so who knows?
Also lost amidst the laser focused battle between Dutch and Aneela is the baby that Kendry is carrying. There’s no question that “Wargasm” has been an episode fraught with anxiety as the war gets underway, but leave it to Michelle Lovretta to use two unlikely bedfellows (pun intended) to lighten the mood just a little. “We didn’t like do it, did we?” D’avin asks an equally confused Kendry, but he saves his best line as a baby name follow up. “How do you feel about apostrophes?” Is D’av simply yanking Delle Sayeh’s chain, or is he truly contemplating his role in this unborn child’s future? Fortunately, their interplay doesn’t stop here. Since he won’t let this rest, Kendry finally tells him that “I don’t want guns in the house.” Coupled with Zeph’s earlier revelation, fans have plenty of shipping subtext to wade through while waiting for season 4.
They say blood is thicker than water, and if there’s one question that the Killjoys season 3 finale “Wargasm” throws out there, above all else, is whether that proverb extends to green plasma. Either way, guys, this is as good as it gets, and we now eagerly await SyFy’s renewal announcement.